Nicaragua Volcano Boarding: All You Need To Know

The awkward moment when you're kicked out of ISIS
The awkward moment when you’re kicked out of ISIS! Joke stolen by: Gonzo Stu

Without doubt, one of the most eagerly anticipated things to do on the Central American backpacking trail is volcano boarding in Leon, Nicaragua.

Bombing down a volcano that you’ve just hiked, at 70 km per hour, on a piece of wood, terrified for your life – what’s not to love?!

How To Book it

There are an array of tour companies in Leon who organise the volcano boarding – so it’s a case of taking your pick. I advise being lazy like myself and outsourcing the semantics to your hostel/hotel owner who will happily organise this for you with one of their guys (ours didn’t charge us for this).

We weren’t so lucky with our guide. He was bit of a space cadet who didn’t even have any tips on how to navigate the board. I think he may have been high, in all honesty.

I wish I remembered the tour company’s name so I could tell you not to go with them. Regardless, we had fun and the travel bucket list got a big fat tick in the box for volcano boarding.

Your host will pick you up around 8am and you’ll hike up to the top (roughly 45 minutes). You’ll be carrying your own boards and there is a sneaky steep part half way up – so it’s a decent little workout too.

Don’t Surf, Use Your Bum

I know, I know. Surfing is a lot cooler and seemingly more daring than surfing on your bum. Because of the terrain of the volcano – it’s actually slower to surf than to spearhead down on your arse like an unapologetic legend.

And trust me, you go fast enough!

You only get one chance to do this, as hiking back up takes too long. You can use your feet as a brake, but then you risk spraining your ankle, getting volcano burns, or even worse…losing crucial man points with your mates. 😉

So hold on tight, don’t break, focus on your core for strength and direction. And most importantly…have fun!

Song For The Moment – “Speed Demon,” by Michael Jackson

Notable lyrics

“Got fire in my pocket
I just lit a rocket”

Join the Conversation


  1. Ray Reply

    How much did it cost to do this?

    1. Anthony Middleton Reply

      I paid $40, Ray 🙂

  2. Christina Reply

    Looks like a crazy thing to do!

  3. Annika of 457 Australia Reply

    It looks dangerous but an experience of a lifetime. I want to do it too before I turn 30!

  4. Imran Holid Reply

    Excellent travel blog story, it is perfect travel destination –

  5. Wes Dunn Reply

    Can’t say I have ever done this or heard of this before but it sounds like great fun, enjoyable read Anthony 🙂

    1. Anthony Middleton Reply

      Thanks for reading, Wes!

  6. Martin Reply

    Great post Anthony! Have you ever considering visiting St. Lucia and the Eastern Caribbean? St. Lucia is home to a drive in volcano where it is possible to bath in volcanic pools. I can let you know when I publish an upcoming post on the Sulphur Springs.
    Here’s a video on St. Lucia which portrays the island in all its vibrant colors.

    1. Anthony Middleton Reply

      Nice video! To be honest, there isn’t really anywhere where I wouldn’t go. Especially with weather like that!

  7. Julianna Reply

    That looks really fun – I think I’m the only person who didnt give this a go in Leon (ran out of time) but would definitely give it a try next time. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Eric || The Bucket List Project Reply

    that is so cool, I just read about this with Matt of Expert Vagabond and now am obsessed with getting to Nicaragua soon because Volcano boarding is definitely on my bucket list!
    Thanks for sharing how to book it though, needed this info!
    PS- Michael Jackson BAD album…awesome!

  9. robert Reply

    Hiking the volcano- the day was windy, which made for a refreshing hike without much sweating on this black natural oven. But when we approached the top, the wind became too strong!


    good one article.

  11. Todd at Visit50 Reply

    I loved it! I was terrified and almost chickened out when I got to the top but I made it! It was awesome!
    If interested I posted the story here –